'We are like a big family'

'We are like a big family'

'We are like a big family'

Tucked amidst the lush green surroundings in Cubbon Park is a magnificent old building that you just can’t miss. The ‘Century Club’, that belongs to the list of elite clubs in the City, boasts of an undisturbed green space. 

History has it that this club got its name from the number of members the club intended to have.

Visionary and founder of the club, Bharat Ratna recipient Sir M Visvesvaraya was keen to promote what he felt was good in the English society, particularly their orderly habits, punctuality, restraint in speech and social behaviour.

This formed the basis for the formation of the club.

Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, who was the king at the time, sanctioned seven acres 20 guntas of land in Cubbon Park, Seshadri Road and the club was founded in 1917.

Sir M  Visvesvaraya was the first president of the club. The club has grown from strength to strength and today, it has nothing less than 6,000 members.

The executive team for the 2014-15, which got elected recently, comprises the president MN Suresh, vice-president K Jairaj, and secretary SP Rakshit.

They say their format of elections includes no campaigning, which means that there are no phone calls made to seek votes.

“The website has the candidate’s picture with a profile and other information so that the members can read about them and vote accordingly,” says Rakshit.

The club is like an extended family space for most of the members.

“A home-away-from-ho­me, Century Club beckons fam­ilies to a closer experience with nature,” he says.

He adds that a lot of money is invested in maintaining the law­ns and different plants are bo­ught, to preserve and maintain the greenery in the premises.

The club has a main lawn, which hosts different events.

There is something for everyone at the club. The ‘Chance’ (game) is played at the to building facing the main lawn and ‘Tombola’ is played at the Wadiyar Hall.

There is a children’s play area and a swimming pool as well. “We can proudly say that we do not use any chemicals to clean the pool,” says Rakshit.

Another creative space is the Sampige Halli, which is an open space with murals, a well and an artificially created waterfall, to give the place a rustic feel.

‘Bar-i-tone’ is a space for the younger members of the club to read. There’s also a  well-stocked library.

The club has members from all strata of society and also had to its credit important names like General Cariappa.

“To be a member of the club, one has to be introduced by three members of the club. There is a waiting period for permanent membership, while there are also other forms of membership,” says Rakshit.

The executive committee of the club points out that the requisite for membership is ‘to be a good citizen of the society’.

Apart from Dandiya night, Deepavali celebrations and New Year bashes, there are also different recreational and gaming facilities at the club that include tennis, badminton, billiards, and table tennis.

And for those who want to indulge their tastebuds, the club also has a restaurant that offers authentic South-Indian food and another offering North Indian, Chinese food etc.

A special feature of the club is that there is some activity happening through the week. “We are like one big family here,” he says.

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